Mark Warburton can see the funny side of speculation linking Bright Osayi-Samuel with a move away from Queens Park Rangers, telling the Kilburn Times that the Celtic and Crystal Palace target is still part of his plans.
While the QPR boss has made it clear that he will not be indulging any player less than 100 per cent focused during Saturday’s season opener against Nottingham Forest, there is nothing to suggest Osayi-Samuel has been anything other than professional behind the scenes.
Sky claimed this week that a winger with ‘blistering pace’ is reluctant to sign a new deal at Loftus Road, with Crystal Palace dangling a Premier League carrot above his head.
Scottish champions Celtic are interested too.
The Sun reports that Gary Penrice, the Hoops’ head of recruitment who worked as a scout at QPR, is behind a potential £5 million bargain deal for one of the fastest forwards south of the border.
But, according to Warburton, Osayi-Samuel is still very much in his plans despite the ongoing uncertainty.
“Bright is a QPR player, he has trained very well this week, I read some of the media columns and just laugh,” says the former Rangers boss.
“Bright Osayi-Samuel rules himself out for the weekend, really? It’s just media and speculation, it sells a line and a story.
“We’ve got a tight squad, Bright is an important player, and I’m looking forward to him performing on the weekend.”
Celtic are not exactly short of options out wide at the moment, with James Forrest, Moi Elyounoussi and Mikey Johnstone all at Neil Lennon’s disposal.
And, if you ask many a Hoops supporter, they will tell you that additions are required elsewhere after a sluggish start to the season and another disastrous Champions League exit.
Celtic’s record transfer sales
£25 million (Arsenal)
£19.7 million (Lyon)
£12.5 million (Southampton)
Virgil van Dijk
£11.5 million (Southampton)
£10 million (Southampton)